The former head of the Vermont Air National Guard was ousted from his position after using an F-16 jet to fly to Washington, D.C., for a work trip and allegedly to visit a female Army colonel who made him “tingle.”
Col. Thomas "TJ" Jackman resigned in 2015, but the circumstances were revealed only recently by the VTDigger, which acquired email exchanges between Jackman and the unidentified woman.
The woman reportedly sent photos of herself to Jackman, a veteran of three tours in Iraq, and wrote affectionate emails between December 2014 and January 2015.
“You look beautiful… [I] can’t help but notice every part of you,” wrote Jackman, who’s married. “Fun seeing your name pop up in the inbox. Always makes me smile. (and tingle…),” he wrote in another email.
"Fun seeing your name pop up in the inbox. Always makes me smile. (and tingle…)"
The two then tried to meet up in January 2015 as Jackman was set to attend a conference at Joint Base Andrews near Washington.
The emails show the woman talked about meeting him Jan. 27 and Jan. 29. “Get the 27th here soon,” she wrote in an email. “I am going to the mall today to check dresses.”
“Look forward to seeing the real deal in person soon!” Jackman emailed the woman shortly before his trip.
"Look forward to seeing the real deal in person soon!"
He then used his authority to take an F-16 to a base near the Pentagon. According to VTDigger, while Jackman stayed at Andrews the night after the conference, he also booked rooms in hotels on both Jan. 27 and 29.
The leadership of the Vermont Air National Guard reportedly caught Jackman taking the jet to Washington and ordered him to take a commercial flight home. It was not clear if the Guard paid for all of the expenses Jackman incurred during the adventure.
Jackman denied having a romantic relationship with the female Army colonel and declined to comment to VTDigger whether his early retirement from the military was due to the jet travel. He’s reportedly working as a postmaster.
Former officials told the outlet that Jackman was given a warning about the punishment for his questionable actions, allowing him to allegedly submit a resignation letter and retire with full active duty benefits and was allowed to even keep his top security clearance.
Vermont Air Guard officials declined to comment, but 1st Lt. Mikel R. Arcovitch, the Guard’s representative, told VTDigger that it’s rare for pilots to fly fighter jets to work conferences.
“When it has occurred, pilots conduct training and complete annual requirements to and from the conference location,” he said.